Secret #4 to Lasting Love, according to Madonna Behen, is to “remember the little things” (Behen 7). (See below for the list of seven secrets, with links to previous posts.)
When I asked my husband Jay some of the little things that make a big statement to him, he mentioned my making his lunch on work days, picking up after myself, and letting him watch baseball. (Jay’s favorite team seems to be on 24-7 during the spring-summer-early fall. It's a time-consuming sport.)
I starting thinking this morning about the little things that mean much to me, and I came up with an important word that is at the core of any of these actions: attitude. I mentioned in my previous post about how I tend to attack a project myself rather than ask for help. In a similar direction, I don’t want just the “little thing,” I want the right attitude with it. If he is doing something for me I know he doesn’t like, and I have any inkling of his dislike, the outcome is partially ruined for me.
Some of the little things that, with the right attitude, thrill me in large ways include the following:
· Getting to sleep in (even one day a week or once in a while),
· Shopping together (even for groceries),
· Having a quality conversation about possibilities and plans,
· Going out for an appetizer and dessert at a restaurant I love, and
· Having dinner made for me.
But, complicated as I am, if he is going to wake up in a bad mood or seem sleepy all day, if he’s going to be distracted by his phone and not listen to my excitement over what is on sale, if he’s going to appear that the conversation topic isn’t relevant to him, if he’s going to question the logic in going out and not getting a real meal, or if he’s going to act like it's a big deal to get a meal prepared, I feel he must feel it’s too much effort.
On the flip side, I know I need to be sure I don’t grumble through the gifts I give him. Matthew 5:28 says that even looking at someone other than your spouse lustfully is wrong because Jesus was a Teacher who emphasized the heart. Proverbs 23:7 reflects this theme: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” It’s probably not the best idea, then, to let Jay watch baseball but then vacuum throughout the game as I loudly complain about what a wreck the house is.
When we do the little things for our spouse, we don’t need to make them seem like a big deal. Our attitude needs to communicate that we are willing to do these little things because of our big love.
We even go to baseball games as a family. I used to complain a lot throughout the game, but now I try to enjoy the good hot dogs and smile.
Behen, Madonna. “The Seven Secrets of Lasting Love.” USA Weekend 27-29 April 2012. Print.
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